Thanksgiving: Beyond the Meal

Designer Kristine McKay helps you plan memorable events for your holiday meal

Normally there is nothing worse than getting stuck at the children’s table. This year make it the best seat in town.

-Theme the table around the book “The Giving Tree” (which can be read to the children before dinner)

-A “giving tree“. Each child will have a leaf napkin holder with their name that they can write something they are going to “give” this year. After they have written it on the back the leaves are then hung on the tree

-Each child will have a turkey crayon holder (the crayons stick out of the back like feathers) it is made from a styrofoam ball. You can either make them ahead of time or have the children make them as a craft.

-Each child will have a simple activity book

(All of these ideas will have free downloads on my site)

Ideas for taking it “Beyond the Meal” for the adults:

-Place card gratitude box. Each person has a small 3″ round box with their name on it. Inside contains a 3″ circle cards that say “I am greatful for _______ because” (one card for each member at the dinner). Remove the cards and fill them out. When you are finished filling them out place them in the cooresponding family member’s tin. At the end of the dinner you can then punch a hole and the top and thread a ribbon through to create a little mini album keepsake. It is a great way to tell your family how grateful you are for them and it is also fun to read the cards you get back.

-Start a family autograph table cloth. Write the date and have each member autograph it with a tracing pencil so you can embroider later or simply use a permanent marker

-Play the “Talking spoon”. kind of like the “talking stick”. pass around a large spoon and who ever has the spoon, has the floor. They can tell a favorite memory or family story (make sure you record this)

-Thanksgiving Log/Gratitude Journal: This is a journal that will be past on from one year to the next. It will contain basic facts like location, attendance, a photo, and a sign in section for everyone to write a quick note about what they are greatful for

-Use old family photos in your table decorations

Kristine McKay enjoys paper crafting and all things creative and she loves to share her inspiration with other women. For more great ideas and to read more about Kristine’s creative musings, you can visit her website at

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